February 13, 2019
|February 11, 2019 by Art Toalston, Baptist Press|
|A Houston newspaper, in reporting on instances of sexual abuse by pastors and others at Southern Baptist churches, has left SBC President J.D. Greear “broken over what was revealed" ... READ MORE|
|February 12, 2019 by Baptist Press Staff|
J.D. Greear, president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), has announced the names of individuals who will serve on the Committee on Committees for the June 11-12 SBC annual meeting ... READ MORE
|February 11, 2019 by David Roach, Baptist Press|
Barna research indicating nearly half of U.S. millennial Christians believe evangelism is wrong reflects the church’s failure to disciple them, say two Southern Baptist evangelism leaders. READ MORE
Sexual abuse report a 'wake up call' for Southern Baptists
History needed telling, SBTS grads & NAAF say
Blackface mars 'the soul & the mind'
Pro-life concerns mount over high court's Louisiana ruling
K. Allan Blume
The Houston newspaper report
Sunday morning the Houston Chronicle released the long-anticipated story on sexual abuse by hundreds of Southern Baptist pastors and church staff. As we expected, the news is not good. But the responses by Baptist leaders have been appropriate and deliberate.
One story posted on BRnow.org reported Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) President J.D. Greear’s response. “The voices in this article should be heard as a warning sent from God, calling the church to repent,” Greear said on Twitter. “As Christians, we are called to expose everything sinful to the light. The survivors in this article have done that – at a personal cost few of us can fathom.”
Milton Hollifield, executive director-treasurer of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSC), shared his concern about the report in a story posted on BSC’s website and on BRnow.org. “One of the worst things about this entire matter is that sexual predators have hidden behind the veil of their church leadership positions and taken advantage of individuals who trusted them,” Hollifield said. “What a terrible and destructive witness this is to people who want to have confidence in individuals they look up to as trusted Christian leaders.
“As a state convention, we have sought to be proactive by assisting churches on how to conduct background checks for pastors, church staff and volunteers. We have also consulted and conducted trainings with numerous associations and churches related to a variety of safety and security policies and procedures.”
It is good that Baptist leaders are acknowledging the gravity of the issue and addressing it head-on. Many pastors are expressing their concerns on church websites and social media. Others plan to issue a statement in upcoming worship services and in printed bulletins.
Steve Scoggins, pastor of First Baptist Church in Hendersonville, N.C. and president of the BSC, posted this statement on the church’s website: “Even one person abused by a Southern Baptist minister would be too many. But my heart was especially broken to hear the extent of abuse perpetrated by SBC ministers over the past 20 years. My prayers go out for the over 700 victims of this abuse. I am grateful for the timely responses by our SBC president, J D Greear, and by our [Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission president], Russell Moore. Both have assured us that this will be addressed with specific actions in the near future. All churches and pastors need to listen to those who have been abused. Zero tolerance needs to be given to those who have abused others in the ministry. My prayer is that God will use this investigative article to prod us to do a better job protecting our young people and adults in the future.”